Public Librarian Certification

Certification for South Carolina librarians aids library boards and librarians in selecting competent personnel and gives the taxing bodies assurance that public funds are spent for quality library service.

The Certification Program for South Carolina Public Librarians was formalized in 1962 and is governed by State Law (Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, Vol. 26, Rules and Regulations R75-2). Certification ensures upgrading of the public library profession in South Carolina over time.

The certification program applies only to persons currently employed in full-time positions in South Carolina public libraries.


Certificate Education Work Experience Required Renewal/ Exchange
Professional MLIS degree from ALA-accredited university 3 years continuous full-time professional public library permanent
Provisional Professional MLIS degree from ALA-accredited university none renewal after 4 years; exchange for professional with required experience
Pre-Professional Bachelor's degree (any field) and at least 18 semester hours of MLIS coursework none renewal after 5 years continuous full-time library experience and 6 hours additional academic credits
Provisional Pre-Professional Bachelor's degree (any field) none valid for 3 years; renewal with continuous full-time library experience and completion of 6 hours additional academic credits


  • Please have your education and work experience information on hand before beginning the application. Online form information cannot be saved.
  • When entering degree programs in progress or a job you currently hold, leave the "date completed" field blank.
  • An official transcript is considered one sent directly from the university registrar to the State Library, either electronically or by mail, or one sent by the applicant still in the sealed and signed registrar's envelope. Direct transcripts to the Public Services Librarian at or 1500 Senate St., Columbia, SC 29201.
  • Qualifying work experience for the Professional certificate must be full-time, professional (MLIS required) employment at a public library. The three years of work experience must be continuous, but is not required to be all at the same library or same position, nor limited to South Carolina libraries.
  • After submitting the form, you will receive an email from confirming the receipt of the application, with the completed form attached for your records.

Complete the Online Application